20-time grand slam champion Roger Federer will play a limited clay season in 2020 with Olympic glory being one of his targets.
The world No.3 has confirmed that he intends to play in all four of the major tournaments once again. This season saw the Swiss player return to the French Open for the first time since 2015. He reached the semi-finals before losing to eventual champion Rafael Nadal. Federer has missed previous editions due to either injury or wanting to rest his body.
“I’m going to play the clay again this year like last year,” Forbes.com quoted Federer as saying during a press conference. “I’m just not going to play the full clay court schedule. I’m going to take time again to rest and train before the big swing of the French, Wimbledon, and then the Olympics and the U.S. Open. I’m really looking forward to it. I hope I’m going to stay as injury free as this year because it was a lot of fun playing this way because I just felt good and then when you feel good, you just play good as well.”
It is unclear as to what tournaments the 38-year-old will be playing on the European dirt and if it will be less than what he committed to in 2019. This year Federer played in Madrid and Rome before the French Open. He hasn’t won a title on the surface since the 2015 Istanbul Open, which has since been discontinued.
Shedding light on his plans for the new season, the former world No.1 says he is confident that his calendar will work ‘very well’ for him. In the past, he has opted to take periods of time away from the tour in order to rest his body. Especially leading up to the grass-court swing of the tour.
“The schedule might look heavy but I think it’s a really balanced schedule which I think is going to work very well,” he said. “I’m confident about that.”
As the second oldest player in the top 100 this week, many are wondering when Federer will decide to pull the curtain on his record-breaking career. Where he has won more grand slam singles titles and spent more weeks as world No.1 than any other male player in the Open Era. He will be turning 40 in 2021, but is open to the idea of still playing at the age. Much to the delight of his army of fans around the world.
“So 2020 is set but 2021, I just don’t know because it’s too far away but of course if I have the chance to play and everything’s still working sure why not?” He said.
“If the family is happy and healthy, that needs to be the case. If my wife feels the same way, that is important because happy wife, happy life. You know how that works so it starts there. And then the body and the results.’
“It’s going to come down to that. Usually I don’t think over a year and a half ahead of time. I usually think a year ahead of time or a year and a little bit.”
It is by no means unthinkable that Federer could continue playing into his 40s based on his current form. This season he has won a quartet of titles on the tour and finished the year in the top three for the 15th time in his career. He is just six titles away from equalling Jimmy Connors’ all-time record of 109 ATP trophies.
Unlike his rivals, Federer will not be playing in the inaugural ATP Cup at the start of 2020. As it currently stands, he will not be playing a tournament until the Australian Open unless he accepts a wild card into one of the lead-up events.
Dominic Thiem reaches his first quarter final at the Australian Open
Dominic Thiem eased past Gael Monfils 6-2 6-4 6-4 after 1 hour and 50 minutes on the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open. Thiem has extended his winning streak to 6-0 in his head-to-head matches against Monfils.
He fought back from two sets to one down to beat Australia’s Alex Bolt in the second round, but he won eight of his past nine sets to advance to the quarter finals.
Thiem got two breaks in the first set and never faced a single break point in the entire match. The Austrian player converted his fourth break point after three deuces, as Monfils missed a backhand volley wide. Thiem started the third set with an early break in the first game, as Monfils hit an inside-out forehand wide from the middle of the court wide. Thiem won his next service games and held his final game at love.
Thiem will face Rafael Nadal in a re-match of last year’s Roland Garros final.
“I think that I played my best match so far at this year’s Australian Open. It’s a very good feeling. The score looks way easier than the match was. I think I was lucky to make an early break in each set and I was managing to hold my serve well. I am so happy because I am in the quarter final here for the first time”, said Thiem.
Alexander Zverev tops Andrey Rublev to set Australian Open quarter final against Stan Wawrinka
Alexander Zverev beat his friend Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4 in one hour and 37 minutes to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open for the first time in his career and his third at Grand Slam level.
Zverev broke serve once in each set. The German player has not dropped a set at this year’s edition of the Australian Open.
Zverev ended Rublev’s 15-match winning streak. Rublev had not lost a match since October, winning four matches at the Davis Cup last November and back-to-back titles in Doha and Adelaide.
In the opening set Zverev earned his first break at 3-3, as Rublev hit a forehand into the net. He held his serve to consolidate the break and wrapped up the first set after 29 minutes, when Rublev hit a crosscourt backhand wide.
Zverev started the second set with an immediate break in the first game of the second set and closed it out with a hold at love with an ace after 29 minutes.
Zverev broke serve for the third time in the match in the ninth game of the third set to take a 5-4, when Rublev made a groundstroke error, and sealed the win with a forehand volley.
“It feels amazing. I played some great matches against some great opponents. This is Andrey’s first loss of the season, having won two tournaments and getting through to the fourth round with unbelievable tennis. I have known Andrey since we were ten years old. I think he will be top 15, top 10 very soon. I am just happy and I hope I can continue”,said Zverev.
Zverev will face Stan Wawrinka in the quarter final. The German star beat Wawrinka twice in their previous two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.
Stan Wawrinka edges Danil Medvedev in a five-set thriller to reach the quarter final at the Australian Open
Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka reached the quarter final at the Australian Open for the fifth time in his career with a 6-2 2-6 4-6 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 win over fourth seed and 2019 US Open finalist Danil Medvedev after 3 hours and 25 minutes. Wawrinka qualified for the last eight for the first time since 2017.
Wawrinka earned his first break in the fourth game, when Medvedev sent his backhand long. Wawrinka did not convert two more break points in the sixth game before breaking for the second time at love to close out the opening set 6-2 after 32 minutes. Wawrinka won 85% of his first serve points and hit 16 winners to 8 unforced errors in the opening set.
Medvedev broke in the third game of the second set to open up a 3-1 lead, when Wawrinka netted his forehand. The Russian player clinched the second set with three service winners at 5-2 to level the score.
Medvedev broke serve in the seventh game of the third set after a backhand error from Wawrinka and closed out the set with a service winner in the 10th game.
Wawrinka wasted a break point in the fourth game of the fourth set. Both players traded service holds en route to the tie-break. Wawrinka earned an immediate mini-break to open up a 3-0 lead in the tie-break. The former Australian Open champion hit a half-volley winner to cruise to a 5-2 lead and converted his first set point, when Medvedev netted a backhand in the ninth point.
Wawrinka broke Medvedev at 15 in the first game of the fifth set and saved three break points at 2-1. Wawrinka went up a double break in the seventh game and forced an error from Medvedev to wrap up the match, as he was serving for the win in the eighth game.
Wawrinka set up a quarter final against Alexander Zverev, who beat Andrey Rublev 6-4 6-4 6-4. Zverev beat Wawrinka twice in their two head-to-head matches in St. Petersburg 2016 and Miami 2017.
“That was an amazing match and an amazing atmosphere. It was really tough to play against Danil. It was really tough to play against Danil. I had to raise my level in the fourth and fifth sets. The level was super high and the atmosphere is something special here in Australia. I am finding solutions. I was losing a bit of confidence in the second and third sets, and was fighting against myself to play my game. I had to fight, stay positive and I am happy with the result”,said Wawrinka.
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